I’m new to motherhood and it’s not easy
As Elliott’s turns 7 months old, I reminisce about the weeks after his birth and my challenging first weeks of motherhood.
They were hard, so hard.
I always felt like I was trapped in my own house day after day dealing with nappies, feeding and crying.
And when it was time to go on an outing , whether it was to the shops or to visit a friend, well, that basic exercise was simply daunting. I was constantly nervous.
My anxiety was right up there, I had recurrent worrying thoughts that went over and over in my head. ‘Where would I feed him? What happens if he cries uncontrollably? Where will I change him? What happens if I can’t put the pram up or down? What happen if he cries for food while I’m driving?’
Sometimes I would avoid doing things so I wouldn’t have to go through the worry. It was just easier that way. When I heard other mothers talk about how happy they were and that they were already thinking about their next baby, I found it really difficult. I remember thinking, ‘why don’t I feel this way?’
Breastfeeding was hard
Elliott was never a good feeder, I persisted with breastfeeding for two months but it was a huge source of anxiety.
It drove me crazy being plastered to the couch hour upon hour; I even had a number of anxiety attacks whilst stuck to the couch feeding him. What on earth was wrong with me?
Because Elliott wouldn’t feed properly, he was always unsettled and it seemed like he was always hungry. This meant constant feeding. I tried holding onto the positives of what people were telling me, that it does get better. As much as I found it hard to believe it, it really did get better.
I tried to exclusively express my breastmilk but quickly found that there was no way I could maintain it and so I weaned Elliott onto formula.
After making the change, Elliott was as a different baby and I started feeling how I knew I should, my confidence slowly came back.
To be honest, I’ve found motherhood to be a tad bit competitive too. I’ve been really surprised to see how much judgment goes on. This too has been a source of anxiety for me.
Over the past seven months, I have learned that motherhood is about being the best mum I can be and that behind the facade of every mother, there too are challenges, it’s not just me.
Motherhood is about sharing, not comparing. If my blog is one way I can share, then I’m happy. Every day I look at Elliott in awe of what Gavin and I have created, my heart bursts with love and happiness. I’m confident the feelings were always there, I’ve just needed to believe in myself a little more.